New Beginnings Christian Fellowship holds ‘Two Nights of Empowerment’
By Alice Thomas-Tisdale
Jackson Advocate Publisher
Given a six-month life span as an infant, growing up in the rugged streets of “the hood”, and coming within moments of taking his own life as an adult, Bishop Shawn H. Anderson knows all too well how he’s able to stand before his peers at age 42 and shout, “Ain’t no stopping me now!” Bishop Anderson serves as pastor of Greater Faith Fellowship in Sumrall, Miss. He was the guest speaker at New Beginnings Christian Fellowship’s opening night of “Two Nights of Empowerment” on August 23, 2012. He was welcomed by Bishop J. Edward Griffin, pastor of New Beginnings. Scripture text was Matthew 9:20-22 and Mark 5:25-27. Bishop Anderson said, “There’s a rumor out there that when trouble arises people would rather flee than stand.
They won’t stick around to gain what they need to win. They want it the easy way, as if God has abandoned them. However, the Bible says you will reap if you faint not. Why do we refuse to stand when things get a little difficult?” he asked, acknowledging that too many people become comfortable with saying, ‘I’ll just start over.’ “There’s nothing wrong with starting over, but don’t bring the same baggage with you. Ask yourself, ‘what has me hung up?’ Your ‘it’ may not be my ‘it’, but ‘it’ will put you in a bad place. To be empowered, you have to know what’s wrong with you.
If your foot didn’t know it was hurt, your toe knew it. It knew enough not to put too much pressure on it,” he said jokingly, but meaning it just the same. “In order to handle the pressure, it’s got to be according to the power that works in us.” Bishop Anderson helped his audience grasp the lesson with a little help from music icons like hip hop artist T.I. “He’s about motivation. He developed a concept with a Biblical reference. He says, ‘I want you to hate on me so I can do better.’ The Bible says it will make your enemies your footstool. How can haters make churches fall? I’m looking for three people who are glad they are hated on, lied on, mistreated,” exclaimed Bishop Anderson. He told them they were overdue for a blessing. “The number 12 means perfection.
All things work together for those who love the Lord. Maybe you haven’t gone through everything yet,” he said, encouraging them to do as he does — “I’m looking to God to take my mess ups.” One person in particular who looked to God to take her mess ups was the Bible character who hemorrhaged for twelve years. “The woman with the issue of blood became a social outcast. What’s in you is going to eventually come out. What you consume becomes you. Why are you surprised when you slap somebody and you hang around angry people?” asked Bishop Anderson.
“They fight in clubs because they play fight songs – ‘Y’all goin’ make me lose my mind, up in here, up in here!’ When you start messing with folks’ money, things change. You remember the song ‘Dangerous’?” Bishop Anderson said the woman with the issue of blood took an account of what she had lost. “The more she lost, the worse she felt, and the worse she did. Her problem went from a leak to a rupture.” He explained that the woman didn’t give up; a lesson worth learning. “Keep going. Just like lifting weights, the more you get under the weights you should get stronger to put more weights on the bar. You have to push yourself,” he said, using his son, a weightlifter, as an example.
“I’m going to have to get myself a bigger gun,” he joked after telling how his teenage son easily lifted 375 lbs. shortly after moving to a new weight class. “If God didn’t pressure you, you wouldn’t be able to do better. The devil is watching you, so be ready.” Bishop Anderson told the members of New Beginnings Christian Fellowship Church to observe the woman with the issue of blood. “Too much of God may be too much for you. First she touched his garment, then she touched the hem of his garment. She got what she needed and she backed up. When she touched the hem, Jesus immediately asked, ‘Who touched me?’” He said that when you realize you got something, don’t hide it.
“Let the haters see it! The problem is we don’t want people to see what God is doing in our lives. Every time you have an encounter with God you need to leave with something; get something out of the deal. Her faith, not touching the garment, made her whole.” In conclusion, Bishop Anderson said Christianity is a process; it doesn’t necessary look good from the start. He told the story of putting out some grass seeds and nothing happened right away. Later some mold spread across his yard. He complained to the garden center that he must have purchased some bad seeds. The garden specialist assured him it was a process and the seed had to die to germinate to increase the spread to become grass. “I then understood that the process might not look good, but it works. Then once the grass grows, you have to maintain it by cutting it and watering it.
The same applies to your faith,” he said. He acknowledged that there are some people he’s had to cut out of his life. “Some folk I just don’t need to be around because of their volatile state,” he said in encouraging his audience to know the answer to the question, what do you believe in God for? “We all know that having the faith of a mustard seed will move mountains. But I’m not a mountain mover, I’m a village mover. I need more than a mustard seed of faith now!” Rev. Lorenzo Lloyd, pastor, Redeemed Christian Fellowship in Jackson, Miss., closed out the “Advancing God’s Kingdom by Faith!” series the following evening. For additional information on the work of New Beginnings Christian Fellowship, call 601-932-4444 or visit nbcfonline.org. The church is located at 2920 Highway 468 in Pearl, MS.